Monday, March 27, 2006

A number of NGOs, local and foreign, trade unions and social groups also held rallies to draw attention of the participants towards the problems. Theatre-related activities also continued.

Speakers in a seminar on WTO arranged by ActionAid? said that globalisation has caused hegemony of international financial institutions, which like US dominance was detrimental to the interests of developing countries.

Dr Abid Suleri of SDPI termed free trade agreements as ‘a weapon through which USA and EU pressurised the poor countries to succumb their irrational demands.’ He stressed upon the need for ‘real democracy’ so that policy-makers of developing countries could follow the traditions of consultation and do not sign anything against people’s interest.

Arif Hasan, Akber Zaidi, Gustave Massiah, French activist, Tasneem Siddiqi and others talked about the urban issues such as health, housing, transportation etc. Arif Hasan, eminent city planner discussed the devastation of seven cities of the world caused by conflicts and natural disasters.

He pointed out that the capital of Vietnam was destroyed in the war imposed by US. He apprehended that Baghdad and Kabul might face the same fate.